As an extra event around FSCONS, I had the opportunity to meet a bunch of GNU hackers (part of the GNU Hacker Meeting, GHM). The GNU hackers are the people who maintain particular GNU packages, ranging from binutils to gcc to GNU Scheme to the new GNU PDF library. Cool folks all and neat to see them all in one room -- and it illustrated for me that although I'm usually interested (from a technical perspective) in the desktop layer (e.g. KDE), there's a huge stack underneath. That deeper software stack now has a face for me -- up until now, somehow the "shared technology stack" underneath the Free Software desktop sort of stopped for me at X, HAL, DBus, Strigi. Let us not forget the bits underneath that make a GNU/Linux system run.
(Click for full-size version, where you can see that my camera has focus problems with wide pictures under mediocre lighting conditions) From left to right, we find that I'm really bad with remembering names: ?, ?, Matthias Kirschner (FSFE), Jose Marchesi (GNU PDF), Simon Josefsson (GNU TLS, recipient of Nordic Free Software Award 2009), ?, Bruno Haible (gnulib), Alfred M. Szmidt (glibc), ?, Nacho Gonzalez (sysadmin), ?, Henrik Sandklef (FSFE), Brian Gough (FSFE), Alina Mierlus (FSFE), Andy Wingo (Guile), Werner Koch (gnupg), Karsten Gerloff (FSFE), Eelco Dolstra (nix), Paolo Bonzini (GNU Smalltalk), ?. Drop me a note with who's who (the list of attendees is on the GHM page, also the gnuticias site).